Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Stylish, tailored and well-fitting, full length 2-way zipper, wide and non-restrictive sleeve cuffs
Cons: No hood, not as thick or warm as other parkas
Best Uses: Around town
This chic parka is a well-tailored winter coat that showcases a woman's curves rather than hiding them under poofy baffles. The newest version of the Fiona is filled with 600 fill traceable duck down, which is lower quality than previous versions of this jacket, but an increase in environmental consciousness. It is one of the least warm winter jackets that we tested, so don't expect it to help you weather an arctic winter. It does not have a hood, so if you find this feature a necessity, check out the Arc'teryx Nuri Coat - Women's, which features higher quality down, arguably looks even more stylish, and includes a hood. For something thicker and warmer to stand up to harsher weather, we like the Canada Goose Kensington Parka and Patagonia Tres Down Parka.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
A lightweight and highly stylish winter coat, this is a feminine, everyday insulation layer that makes an excellent choice for a fashion-conscious woman living in a mild climate.
The most recent version of the Fiona has had a reduction in down quality. Where it used to have 800 fill goose down, it now features 600 fill traceable duck down. Even though duck down is commonly thought to be lower quality than goose down, this down is third-party verified, non-live plucked, and from non-force-fed birds, which is quite impressive. So while the quality may have gone down slightly, we think this jacket makes up for it in eco-friendly points.
The thinness and lightness of this piece make it less warm than thicker models that contain more down, but it is much better looking than many other lightweight down jackets that tend to look very technical.
The recycled polyester is made from recycled soda bottles and used garments to create a windproof shell material. It prevents cold air from reaching your body through the coat. A DWR coating repels a light mist of water from reaching the down. It does not withstand heavy precipitation.
Using the light method of sewn-through construction, the Fiona is a thin, tailored winter parka with a feminine look. We prefer the fit and cut of the Fiona to The North Face Metropolis or the Mountain Hardwear Downtown Coat - Women's, which are both thicker and warmer, but a little too baggy in the waist. The closest competitor to the Fiona in the looks department is the Arc'teryx Nuri Coat - Women's which we prefer due to its hood, which adds a lot of warmth as well as style.
With no hood and no soft material in the pockets or along the chin, this parka aims for flattering fit rather than comfort or coziness. However, some features, such as the 2-way zipper and the roomy sleeve cuffs allow for a well-fitting, easy to wear parka with a feminine flair.
The Fiona has a simple list of features: 2 handwarmer pockets, a two-way zipper that allows for mobility, and a high collar but no hood.
The polyester fabric used on the Fiona is not the most durable material, and tends to snag. Though we have not had any issues with the durability of this jacket in every day use besides losing a feather or two.
This parka is best suited to around town use and casual every day winter wear. It is fairly small, so is a good choice for traveling.
For $300, you could easily get a much thicker and warmer winter jacket such as the The North Face Metropolis Parka - Women's or the Patagonia Downtown Loft Jacket - Women's. However, if you want the versatility of a lightweight knee-length down parka, this one is a good $100 less than the Arc'teryx version.
If you only aim for good looks and light insulation with your winter jacket purchase, then this may be the piece for you. If you require warmth and weather protection, try some of the thicker and more weather resistant models.
The Women's Lightweight Fiona Parka, $349, is another long jacket for a woman looking to combine fashion and function. It is made from the same 600 fill down, but uses a much lighter shell material to reduce weight. Similar in style and design to the Fiona Parka, the Ultralight version steps it up by also including a hood, making it the more versatile and functional model.
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 21, 2014
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